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What to expect from Jack Dorsey and Africa in 2020


CEO and co-founder of both Twitter and Square, Jack Dorsey, recently visited Africa as part of his latest tour. In November, he travelled to Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa and Ethiopia to mingle with tech entrepreneurs and local fintech startups.

Among the meetings, talks and smiling selfies with excited locals, one of the standout moments was when Dorsey made a local Nigerian developer – who built the famous Twitter bot – a public job offer.

Rapturous applause filled the room, which may become the soundtrack for Dorsey’s African visit next year as well. The American entrepreneur has taken to Twitter to say he will be back in 2020 with plans to live in Africa for three to six months.

What Dorsey will be doing during his 2020 African relocation is not certain, but it is expected that he will be doing more of the same. Dorsey views Africa as one of the most promising locations for the expansion of fintech businesses and in particular, cryptocurrency.

There are many reasons why Dorsey may not be wrong as Africa already houses a mobile payment culture and cryptocurrency has the potential to reduce the number of unbanked people and increase business opportunities.

Nigeria and South Africa, two of Dorsey’s stop-offs in November are of particular interest because these countries boast the highest number of crypto-related searches on Google. Both countries are also home to established and international crypto companies such as Luno, an exchange and bitcoin wallet provider.

There is both motivation and opportunity for many African countries to wave the crypto flag at full mast. With Dorsey’s involvement in mobile payments through his company Square, it is likely that he sees investment opportunities and wants to work with African entrepreneurs in the crypto space.

It is not the first time that a social media tycoon or a high-profile American internet entrepreneur has turned up in Africa. In 2016, Mark Zuckerberg also visited Nigeria after investing in a local startup.

When the biggest players have started turning their attention to the potential of African countries and markets, it paves the way for other investors to do the same. The World Bank reports that the world’s four fastest-growing economies are located in Africa – and digital currencies may add more to that list.

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